Stella Dixon’s take on romance at the shore – where the odds are good, but the goods are seriously odd.
Recently, a guy named Marty invited me on his boat. Excited to be on the water with such a gentleman, I wore my prettiest sundress. At sunset, we sat together on the stern. Marty commented on the blue of my eyes. I batted my lashes the best I know how. Then Marty stood up, dropped trou, and peed off the edge. “Hand me a beer, babe?” he said, midstream.
As a little girl, whenever I’d put on my plastic tiara and picture riding off into the sunset with my white knight, I never imagined him peeing off the side of our horse. Gentlemen, it seems, are a dying breed.
But try explaining this at Thanksgiving dinner or a family reunion, where no one can understand why you haven’t found yourself a “nice boy” yet. I can’t exactly tell Great Aunt Helen that I’ll bring home the first guy who doesn’t whip it out in public, so I keep my mouth shut. I ignore the second cousin who points to her watch, mimicking the finite nature of my biological clock. “Tick-tock,” she says. I’m tempted to launch into a lecture about the modern, self-sufficient woman who doesn’t need a man to define her, and the vulgarity of twenty-first century dating. But I shovel more potato salad into my mouth and nod politely instead.
Eventually, though, I get lonely. I start wondering if my second cousin isn’t right. So what if the men here think burping the alphabet is a marketable skill? Who cares if they honk in the driveway instead of coming to the door? This is a dating desert, and beggars can’t be choosers. Tick-tock.
So I make a vow; I will not spend another day alone. I trade in my cardigan sweater for a slinky pink dress, do three shots of whiskey, and head for Carney’s. I hit the dance floor with the same uninhibited booty shake as the other girls.
Soon, I feel a pair of hands on my waist. Even in my whiskey-induced haze, I wonder when men stopped asking women to dance, when they started gyrating behind them instead. The hands belong to a guy who is sweaty and looks like Elmer Fudd, but I put it out of my mind. Tick-tock, I think.
Then the song changes from something about hoes in a Range Rover to something about Fergie’s humps. I watch a girl in a mini-skirt dry hump a pole in the corner as men leer at her from behind. I stop dancing. “What’s the problem?” Elmer asks.
I think about it for a moment. Life is short, and spending any part of it dancing to songs about humps with a sweaty cartoon seems like an incredible waste of time.
“What’s the problem?” he asks again, but I shrug my shoulders and walk away.
“Tick-tock,” I say, “tick-tock.”